Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls

Board Members

Liz Buchman is an active community volunteer with a specific focus on serving children from under-resourced environments.  She helped develop and leads a partnership and tutoring program at Monroe Elementary School; teaches art enrichment programs at Central Institute for the Deaf and has worked with teams of students for projects at Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls and City Academy.  Liz is on the board of Temple Israel and serves as team leader for agency site visits for the Spirit of St Louis Women’s Fund.  She graduated Magna Cum Laude with honors from University of Georgia’s Terry School of Business with a degree in Human Resource Management.  Professionally, Liz spent 15 years in corporate banking as a Vice President at PNC in Pittsburgh and, after relocating to North Carolina, served as Human Resource Manager for Fleet Feet Corporation and Director of Community Relations for the Family House at UNC Hospital.  An artist at heart, Liz has lived and sold artwork and commissioned murals in Pasadena, CA; Miami, FL; and Chapel Hill, NC.  All of the moves were related to the medical career of her husband, Craig, who is currently Head of the ENT Department at Washington University School of Medicine.  The day Liz moved to St. Louis in August 2015, she heard about Hawthorn and knew she had to find a way to contribute to the girls’ success.

Matt Coen is the founder and CEO of 142 Steps Ventures and managing partner of SLM Media Group, publisher of St. Louis Magazine and other niches of digital and print publications and marketing services. Matt was co-founder and CEO of Second Street, which provided a SAAS digital promotions, interactive content, and email platform to over 4,000 media companies and marketers. The company was acquired in 2021. In 2006, Matt co-wrote and produced the award-winning documentary Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore?, which the International Documentary Association nominated for the 2007 Best Feature Film Award and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences short-listed for an Academy Award. Matt began his career in media technology at Pulitzer Technologies. Matt is also active on nonprofit boards including the executive council of the American Jewish Committee, board chair of the Local Media Association, board chair of Forsyth School, and the Wheeler School's National Leadership Council. Matt Coen is the founder and CEO of 142 Steps Ventures and managing partner of SLM Media Group, publisher of St. Louis Magazine and other niches of digital and print publications and marketing services.

Michelle Cohen is President of Michelle Cohen Communications where she provides freelance communications and public relations services for non-profit and corporate clients. Michelle’s professional background includes more than 25 years of marketing and communications experience on both the agency and corporate side as well as in non-profit organizations and government.  Michelle earned a B.A. in English and International Relations from Tulane University. Michelle currently serves on the Board of City Academy.   She previously served on the Boards of Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School (MICDS) and The Service Bureau, and she is a past Chair of the MICDS Board of Trustees.  She also previously served as President of the Young Friends of the St. Louis Art Museum and is a former member of the Magic House Board.

Rachana Creeth is currently the Group Vice President of Finance for Packaging within Barry-Wehmiller, a local family-owned company based in St. Louis, Missouri.  Rachana has a breadth of financial and operational experience in large companies such as General Electric and Johnson & Johnson.  She was also recently the Head of School for an independent elementary school in Chesterfield where she was responsible for all aspects of running the school operations as well as growing enrollment.  Rachana is a strategic thinker and also a process-oriented finance professional who is trained in Six Sigma Blackbelt and is also a graduate of an intense corporate audit program.  She is a member of the Hawthorn Board finance committee, has served on the Board of Directors at Chesterfield Day School, and is also a Trustee for the Hawthorn Foundation Board.  Rachana was born in India, spent her childhood years in Africa and England, and moved to the St. Louis area as a middle schooler.  She earned her BS in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Harold (Hal) Davies currently serves as COO and VP of Finance for the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and has over 35 years of experience in accounting, finance, and executive management. Hal joined the Danforth Center in 2001 helping to lead the development and growth of the Center from inception to a leading Plant Science Institution. Prior to joining the Danforth Center Hal was the Corporate Controller of the Alper Ink Group and prior to that, he spent nine years at Huttig Distribution, a national distributor of building products as their Director of Financial Planning and Analysis. Hal started his career with the Public Accounting firm of Deloitte in their audit practice and worked in the firm’s executive offices in New York. A native of St Louis (Bridgeton), Hal obtained a BS in Accounting at UMSL, has his CPA Certificate, and graduated from the Executive MBA Program at Washington University with honors in 1995. He most recently completed the Leadership St Louis Program (Class 39), and is currently a member of the Board of St Francis Community Services. Hal has two daughters and three step-sons and currently resides in University City with his wife Monique.

Tyra Duren, PHR serves as the Lawrence Group’s Director of Talent Development. Tyra is a change agent that holds a strong background in Human Resources with an emphasis on Organizational Development; Employee Relations; Benefits Administration; Training and Development; as well as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Tyra has documented history of being highly efficient during stressful circumstances with the ability to analyze and conduct thorough research before making logical decisions. Her professional career includes leadership positions at Concentrix, The St. Louis Cardinals, the Gateway Region of the YMCA, and Convergys. Tyra’s mission to serve and inspire started early in life with her singing and performing for Dr. Bobby Jones, the WDB Professional Theatrical Touring Company, as the featured vocalist on “My Soul Sings Magazine Gospel CD Recording, with the Missouri Black Expo Gospel Explosion, the Black Rep Theatre, the Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Celebration, and the Annie Malone Children’s Home Gospel Gala. She is also a proud member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Human Resource Development and Leadership Management.  Her alma mater is Jackson State University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Corrections. She also holds dual Master's degrees from Webster University in Human Resource Development and Leadership Management.

Edes Powell Gilbert began her teaching career in the public elementary schools of Amherst, Massachusetts, moving into independent education through a variety of teaching and administrative positions in schools in the Boston area. She served as Headmistress of Mary Institute, an all-girl’s school in St Louis, for 7 years and was then Head of School at The Spence School in New York City for 15 years. Some of her volunteer work included serving on the Board of Lesley University, including a 4-year term as President; serving on the New York Advisory Board of Teach for America for 10 years; and fulfilling leadership roles in several professional, and educational associations. Edes served as Acting President of Independent Education Services and was one of the founders of Resource Group 175, an educational consulting firm, of which she was President for 5 years and to which she still belongs. Edes currently serves on the Board of MICDS and Opera Theatre of St. Louis.

Mil Galvin is a senior vice president and senior partner in the Talent Development group at FleishmanHillard, one of the world’s leading global communications agencies. She has led various regional and functional responsibilities during her more than twenty year tenure, including learning and development, employee relations, recruiting, and benefits administration. Currently, Mil provides human resources leadership for offices in St. Louis, Detroit, and Washington, DC., and co-leads the company’s global diversity and inclusion initiatives. Mil holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations from Fontbonne University in St. Louis. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the St. Joseph Housing Initiative and is the president of the Charitable Women’s Club, Inc. She also volunteers on the YWCA development committee and was previously the co-chair of their Leader Lunch Selection Committee. Mil is a graduate of Focus Leadership St. Louis.

Sara Goellner has been employed with World Wide Technology for almost two decades, leading different teams and enterprise-wide initiatives. World Wide Technology began as a small technology start up and now is a global systems integrator for Fortune 100 clients. Sara’s roles have focused on establishing the company as a thought leader in technology and innovation. She has served in positions including Director of IT Governance, Senior Business Development, and Marketing Manager, and is now Chief of Staff to the CEO. Sara received her undergraduate degree and MBA from Washington University in St Louis.

Angell Farley Jackson has worked in human resources for Watlow for over 12 years, both as a senior human resources generalist and now as a human resources manager. Watlow provides best-in-class engineering expertise and leading thermal products that enable its customers to thrive. The company, and all of its team members, are committed to a larger purpose and provide innovative thermal solutions that help clean the air, power the globe, connect people worldwide, and ensure food quality and medical device safety. On behalf of Watlow, Angell works with a variety of companies on recruitment strategies including the Center for Head Injuries, which awarded Watlow with an Employer of the Year award in 2016. Angell also serves on Watlow’s STEM team. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business and a master’s degree in management.

Tiya Lim serves as Director of Institutional Services at Creative Planning. In this role, she leads Creative Planning offerings to institutions and nonprofit organizations. Her areas of expertise include endowment-related best practices, the development of Investment Policy Statements and Spending Policies, and fiduciary training. Tiya also serves as the chair of the Investment Policy Committee. Prior to joining Creative Planning, Tiya was Director of Institutional Services for one of the nation’s
largest RIAs. There she served institutions that ranged from $1 million of assets to over $150 million and managed/administered approximately $1 billion of assets for nonprofit organizations. Her experience helps guide trustees and committee members in meeting their fiduciary obligations and provides nonprofits with a prudent path to meeting their mission and goals. Tiya earned her Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago and her Bachelor’s degree from the  Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Tiya currently serves on the Board of Trustees for her children’s school and previously on the Fund
Development Committee for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri and as a board member for the Shakespeare Festival St. Louis. She lives in St. Louis with her husband and two daughters.

Kathryn Love, Board Chair, is the General Counsel of Capacity, a growing start-up technology business in St. Louis.  In addition, Kathryn has worked for 26 years in the business law section of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP, an international law firm, where she was a co-Leader of the firm’s Higher Education Team.  She works primarily on transactions and with non-profits, entrepreneurs and growth-oriented businesses. She has served on the Boards of Directors of The Magic House - St. Louis Children's Museum (Chair 2010-12), Forsyth School (Independent school PreK-grade 6), Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri, Pedal the Cause, The Muny and Barnes-Jewish Hospital.  Kathryn attended a girls’ school from first through twelfth grade and is a graduate of Princeton University and Hastings College of Law.  Kathryn and her husband have three daughters.

Alex Pearson is Vice President of IT at Cigna/Express Scripts. Alex moved to the United States from London in 1999, initially working in San Francisco before moving to St Louis in 2004.  His career has focused on all aspects of implementing and maintaining technology: software engineering, infrastructure, and operations. Having spent 15 years delivering systems for the Financial service industry, Alex joined Express Scripts in 2010 and has continued to have a broad set of roles.  He is currently responsible for Global Identity and User Experience.  Alex graduated from the University of South Wales with a degree in Information Systems in Business.

Liesl Schnuck is in her eighth year of teaching, currently at City Academy, an independent elementary school in St. Louis, Missouri. She began her teaching career with Teach for America, working with third graders for two years in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She then decided to move back to her hometown of St. Louis to teach at Carver Elementary School in St. Louis Public Schools. Liesl has held multiple leadership positions in each academic setting, most recently on the Academic Leadership Team and as the chair of the STEM committee. She earned her Master of Science in Education from Johns Hopkins and holds a Missouri Career Continuous Professional Certification in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. Liesl is a proud graduate of the University of Richmond, where she majored in sociology, earned her teaching certificate, and played on the varsity field hockey team, serving two years as captain.

Mary Stillman is the Founder of Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls and was, until July 2018, the school’s Executive Director. She currently serves as the Chair of the Hawthorn Leadership School Foundation's Board of Directors. Mary graduated from Princeton University and Yale Law School. After practicing law for several years in Washington, D.C., she moved back to Missouri where she had spent her childhood. Mary worked at Washington University, first as an Assistant Dean focusing on freshman programming and later teaching a freshman seminar on the Bill of Rights. She serves on the Boards of Trustees of Washington University, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, and December literary magazine. She serves on the vestry of her church and is a member of the National Council of the Gephardt Institute for Public Service at Washington University and the National Advisory Board of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, also at Washington University. Mary and her husband Tom have three children, John, Isabelle, and Anna.

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